by Jack Rawls
You’re probably surprised to receive this since we don’t get much mail other than foreclosure and eviction notices, but it’s important for us to begin talking to each other, and I’m hoping this is one way to get the conversation started.
I don’t have to tell you that we can’t expect to receive much help from anyone these days. The politicians have spent all the government money on fighting wars and helping bankers, so there’s nothing left for health care or public works, jobs or college for our kids. At least that’s what most of the Democrats and all the Republicans claim, and they’re backed up on this by all the radio and TV talkers.
Big surprise, huh? Nobody ever pays attention to us except when they claim we all drive Cadillacs. It makes them feel better when they cut what little help we do get if they can claim we’re all lazy, crazy, drug-addled and sexually loose. The millions who are joining our ranks these days because they’ve lost their jobs, lost their houses and lost their credit will soon learn what it’s like to live poor in America. Not only do you have to struggle to keep a roof over your head and food on your table, but you also get to hear constantly that you’re inferior as a human being in every respect.
I know some of us had great hopes that things would be better with this new President, but I think it’s starting to sink in that he’s not going to be able to do much even if he wants to. Early on, he and his advisors decided that it would be better to keep things pretty much as they were with the banks and insurance companies and all the rest. Otherwise, they feared, tens of millions of the “middle class” — those people who are two or three paychecks away from being poor like us — would be thrown onto the trash pile along with us. They paid the ransom money to Wall Street, backed off making any real changes in the system and prayed that things wouldn’t go completely to hell.
What the government has done wasn’t aimed at us. Cash for Clunkers was a bust for us. They’re trashing the only cars we can afford and making parts more expensive for those of us lucky enough to own some piece of crap that we try to keep running. I, for one, don’t begrudge those auto workers who might get to keep their jobs because of Cash for Clunkers, but why do they have to crush cars that we could use to get around? How things affect poor people just never enters into the calculation. The cavalry ain’t comin’. In fact, it’s getting worse.